Descendants of John Tefft

From Stephentown Genealogy: Roots & More

The information below was sent in by Lynne Collins.

Descendants of John Tefft(Tifft)

John Tefft was born in England, and died 1674 in Pettaquamscott, Rhode Island. He married Mary.

John, his brother William and their sister Sara arrived in the Boston, Massachusetts area circa 1633. The early Tefft family was an intensely patriotic family participating in the Colonial, Revolutionary and 1812 wars. The Tefft/Tifft name is of Saxon origin meaning “the place where a house has stood.” The name appears in early Saxon annals.

William was a tailor and bought a dwelling in Boston in 1638. He was declared a freeman on 24 Dec 1648 and admitted to the Church on 02 Aug 1640. His will was probated 23 Nov 1672.

Sara and John moved to Portsmouth, Rhode Island. All that is known of Sara is she died 16 Mar 1642. Her headstone is the oldest in the state and is in the possession of the Rhode Island Historical Society.

John is listed as a freeman in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1655. He is listed again in 1671 residing in Pettaquamscott, Rhode Island. His will was proved 30 Nov 1674.

“to son-in-law Sam’l Wilson his new dwelling house and 20 acres of land. To Mary, his wife, he bequeathed his cattle, 2 oxen, two cows, two yearling steers, eight swine kind, a ewe and a lamb and all other movables. To his son Samuel 2 shillings, to son Joshua 1 shilling, to daughter Tabitha 1 shilling and an iron pot after his wife’s decease. His debts of 1 pound 3 shillings were to be paid equally by Sam’l Wilson and son Joshua.”

Children of John Tefft and Mary are:
i.Samuel Tefft., b. 1640, Portsmouth, Rhode Island; d. 1725, Kingstown, Rhode Island
ii.O Tefft, b. Portsmouth, Rhode Island
iii.Joshua Tefft, b. Portsmouth, Rhode Island; d. 18 Jan 1676. He married Sarah (?). They had a son Peter. On 16 Jan 1676 he was taken into custody by Roger Williams (the founder of Rhode Island). Peter claimed he had been captured by the Indians and held prisoner for 27 days (this is during the time period known as King Philip’s War) and put to work as a slave. The British, however, claimed that he had married a Wampanoag and was seen firing on the British 20 times. He was accused of treason, found guilty, and executed on 18 Jan 1676. In a letter referring to this incident, he was described as “a sad wretch who had never heard a ssermon but once these past 15 years”…that there would not e an abundance of tears over his death. Some sources seem to ponder which was his real offense, firing on the British or for being a “heathen.”
iv.Tabitha Tefft, b. Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Samuel Tefft was born 1640 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and died 1725 in Kingstown, Rhode Island. He married Elizabeth Jenckes, daughter of Joseph Jenckes and Esther Ballard. She was born 1658, and died 1740 in Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Samual was listed as a freeman in Kingstown, Rhode Island in 1677. There is record that he was fined 20 shillings for not attending the Jury of General Court of Trials, but that it was rescinded the following year as “he had not been duly summoned.”

Elizabeth’s brother was deputy governor of Rhode Island 1715-1727, and her father cut the die for the first “pine tree shilling.”

Samuel’s estate was valued at over 1000 pounds (considered quite well to do) when his will was proved on 20 Dec 1725. His estate included wearing apparel, a sword, 11 cows, 5 oxen, 4 steers, 4 yearlings, 5 calves, 121 sheep, 5 mares, 3 horses, 15 swine, 2 linen wheels, 2 spinning wheels, worsted combs, 6 beds, 2 warming pans, cider, cidermill, 22 geese, silver and 155 pounds in bonds.

To son John, 100 acres in South Kings Town
To son Sam, the south half of homestead
To son John and Sam, 135 acres in Westerly
To son Joseph, land in Shannock Purchase, Westerly
To Elizabeth, his wife, the dwelling house, barn, orchard and the north half of homestead.
Then John and Sam equally to maintain daughter Tabitha.

Children of Samuel Tefft and Elizabeth Jenckes are:
i.John Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island; d. 1760, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
ii.Samuel Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
iii.Peter Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
iv.Sarah Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
v.Elizabeth Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
vi.Esther Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
vii.Mary Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
viii.Tabitha Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
ix.Mercy Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island
x.Susannah Tefft, b. Kingstown, Rhode Island

John Tefft was born in Kingstown, Rhode Island and died 1760 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He married Joanna Spraque. She died 1756.

John’s estate was valued at over 6000 pounds.

I descend from two of his children.

Children of John Tefft and Joanna Sprague are:
i.John Tefft, Jr, b.04 Dec 1699, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
ii.Joseph Tefft, b. 08 Jan 1710, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
iii.Samuel Tefft, b. 1712, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
iv.James Tefft, b. 21 Apr 1715, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
v.Nathan Tefft, b. 14 Mar 1717, South Kingstown, Rhode Island
vi.Joanna Tefft, b. 1701 South Kingstown, Rhode Island
vii.Mary Tefft, b. South Kingstown, Rhode Island
viii.Mercy Tefft, b. South Kingstown, Rhode Island
ix.Mehetable Tefft, b. South Kingstown, Rhode Island
x.Tabitha Tefft, b. South Kingstown, Rhode Island
xi.Elizabeth Tefft, b. South Kingstown, Rhode Island

John Tefft, Jr, was born 04 Dec 1699 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He married (1) Mary Reynolds 17 Dec 1721 in Westerly, Rhode Island. She was born 05 Feb 1704 and died 1750. He married (2) Elizabeth James 26 Dec 1752.

John and Mary lived in South Kingstown and Westerly, Rhode Island.

Children of John Tefft and Mary Reynolds are:
i.Deliverance Tifft, b. 19 Aug 1722
ii.Sarah Tifft, b. 27 Apr 1725; d. Feb 1726
iii.Johnathan Tifft, b. 29 Apr 1727
iv.John Tifft, b. 03 Mar 1729
v.Robert Tifft, b. 25 May 1732, South Kingstown, Rhode Island; d. Richmond, Rhode Island
vi.Mary Tifft, b. 20 Sep 1734
vii.Patience Tifft, b. 21 Apr 1737
viii.Deborah Tifft, b. 18 May 1739
ix.Mehetable Tifft, b. 03 Apr 1742
x.Elizabeth Tifft, b. 10 Feb 1744
xi.Jeremiah Tifft, b. 29 May 1747
xii.William Tifft, b. 16 Jan 1749

Joanna Tefft was born 1701 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. She married John Webb 28 Apr 1721.

Children of Joanna Tefft and John Webb are:
i.Margaret Webb, b. 21 May 1721, Richmond, Rhode Island; d. 13 Feb 1785; m. Joseph Rogers 22 Apr 1742, South Kingstown, Rhode Island; b. 1722 South Kingstown, Rhode Island; d. 15 Nov 1800, Stephentown, New York
ii.Elizabeth Webb, b. 27 Mar 1724
iii.Mehetable Webb, b. 11 Aug 1726
iv.Mary Webb, b. 19 Mar 1731
v.George Webb, b. 10 May 1722
vi.John Webb, b. 10 Oct 1735

Robert Tifft was born 25 May 1732 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island and died in Richmond, Rhode Island. He married (1) Abigail Tefft 27 Mar 1754 in Richmond, Rhode Island. He married (2) Martha Reynolds 1769.

Robert served in the Revolutionary War as a corporal in Captain Samuel Gorton’s company under the command of Caleb Tefft ordered on duty 12 Dec 1777-10 Jan 1778; He also enlisted in Captain Benjamin West’s company, Colonel John Topham’s regiment 12 Mar 1778; also from 16 Jul 1778, and from 16 Jan-16 Mar 1779.

Robert died intestate or at least no will was found. His brother Jeremiah was administrator.

Children of Robert Tifft and Abigail Tefft are:
i.Abigail Tifft, b. 06 Oct 1755, Rhode Island
ii.John Tifft, b. 09 Feb 1758, Rhode Island
iii.Robert Tifft, b. 04 Feb 1761, Rhode Island
iv.Joseph Tifft, b.29 Aug 1763; d. 28 Jan 1847, Stephentown, New York
v.Patience Tifft, b. 10 Dec 1765, Rhode Island

Child of Robert Tifft and Martha Reynolds is:
vi.Martha Tifft, b. May 1771

Joseph Tifft was born 29 Aug 1763 in Rhode Island, and died 28 Jan 1847 in Stephentown, New York. He married Sarah Potter. She was born 13 Apr 1769 in Rhode Island, and died 03 Jan 1841 in Stephentown, New York.

An account of Joseph’s brother John’s move (from Rhode Island to New York) indicated that it took 22 days in oxen-drawn wagons to make the journey (and this was done in February to be settled in time for the spring planting)!

Joseph was a member of the Stephentown Baptist Church (listed in membership roles of 1799).

Joseph and Sarah are buried in the Tifft Family Cemetery.

His headstone reads:
Hear what the voice of heaven proclaims
For all the pious dead
Sweet is the savior of their names
And soft their sleeping bed

Her tombstone reads:
There’s rest beneath this quiet sod
When life with all its trials cease
There in the presence of my God
I will secure eternal peace

Children of Joseph Tifft and Sarah Potter are
i.Potter Tifft, b. 29 Aug 1787, Richmond, Rhode Island; d. 02 Sep 1856, Stephentown, NY
ii.Benjamin Tifft, b. 1791, Richmond Rhode Island
iii.Sarah Tifft, b. 1793; d. 1818
iv.Abigail Tifft, b. 1797; d. 1867
v.Robert Tifft, b. 1803; d. 1886
vi.John Tifft, b. 08 Feb 1810

Potter Tifft was born 29 Aug 1787 in Richmond, Rhode Island, and died 02 Sep 1856 in Stephentown, New York. He married Sarah (Sally) Kittell. She was born 1791, and died 1867 in Stephentown, New York.

Potter was 4 years old when his family moved from Rhode Island to New York. He was a farmer with a land value of $1,800 according to the 1850 census.

Potter and Sally are buried in the Tifft Family Cemetery.

His headstone reads:
The glory has been taken from a bright happy home
Loves dearest tie is broken the Destroyers hand has come
Let the hope that the departed is not lost but gone before
Cheer our willing footsteps forward
Till we meet to part no more.

Her headstone reads:
A mother kind, a parent dear
A faithful friend lies buried here.

Children of Potter Tifft and Sarah Kittell are:
i.Horatio K Tifft, b. 24 Jun 1818, Stephentown, New York; d. Nassau, NY
ii.Alsena Tifft, b. 27 Mar 1811, Stephentown, New York; d. 25 Apr 1813, Stephentown, New York
iii.Ira Tifft, b. 24 Nov 1813, Stephentown, New York; d. 24 Aug 1882
iv.Orsena Tifft, b. 15 Mar 1816; d. 03 Dec 1893
v.Joseph Tifft, b. 07 Feb 1821
vi.Rebekah Tifft, b. 13 Mar 1825
vii.Abigail Tifft, b. 11 Feb 1828
viii.Benjamin P Tifft, b. 15 Apr 1830
ix.Sarah M Tifft, b. 15 Sep 1832
x.Abbie E Tifft, b. 12 Apr 1836; d. 03 Apr 1894

Horatio K Tifft was born 24 Jun 1818 in Stephentown, New York and died in Nassau, New York. He married (1) Mary E Carrier 31 Mar 1839, daughter of John Carrier and Eunice Smith. She was born 1822. He married (2) Ann G Balch Thompson 14 Aug 1864 in West Stephentown, New York. She was born 20 Mar in Orwell, New York.

Horatio was a carpenter by trade. He was also the elected Trustee’s Clerk of the West Stephentown Baptist Church from 1843-46.

Children of Horatio Tifft and Mary Carrier are:
i.Emily Tifft, b. 12 Sep 1843, West Stephentown, New York
ii.Eudora Albina Tifft, b. 25 May 1846, West Stephentown, New York; d. 26 Jun 1909, West Stephentown, New York; m. Isaiah Snow, 06 Nov 1869, West Stephentown, New York; b. 28 Jan 1839, West Stephtown, New York; d. 11 May 1905, West Stephentown, New York
iii.Marzavan Smith Tifft, b. 1848, West Stephentown, New York
iv.Zaressa Tifft, b. 1851, West Stephentown, New York

Children of Horatio Tifft and Ann Thompson are:
v.Sarah Tifft, b. 20 Jun 1865, West Stephentown, New York
vi.Nella Tifft, b. 21 May 1867, West Stephentown, New York
vii.William Tifft, b. 27 Dec 1869, West Stephentown, New York
viii.Grace Tifft, b. 29 Mar 1872, West Stephentown, New York
ix.Jennie Tifft, b. 16 Jan 1876, West Stephentown, New York